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HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth men’s basketball head coach Paul Cormier today announced his team’s schedule for the 2014-15 season, which features a trip to the South and showdowns against foes from the Atlantic-10 and Big Ten conferences. The Big Green will also play local rivals New Hampshire and Vermont before beginning what is known as the 14-Game Tournament in a race for the Ivy League championship.

“We are looking forward to the most challenging schedule we have had in the last four years,” Cormier stated. “Not only are all of our games against Division I opponents, but we have also added Penn State, St. Bonaventure and a terrific Mercer team to our slate. We feel that this upgraded schedule will better prepare us for the Ivy League, which is now rated as a true mid-major conference.”

The season will begin with a trip to Olean, New York, to take on St. Bonaventure of the Atlantic-10 Conference on Saturday, Nov. 15 for the first-ever meeting with the Bonnies. Following another road game at Hartford four days later, Dartmouth will take a break for fall exams, then host IPFW on the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, for the home opener. The Big Green will conclude the brief, two-game homestand two days later when in-state rival New Hampshire comes to Hanover.

On Dec. 3, Dartmouth will make a trip to Farmville, Virginia, to try and make it three straight victories against the Longwood Lancers.

Of the eight games slated for the month of December, only two will take place in the confines of Leede Arena — Dec. 6 against Maine and Dec. 19 versus Northern Illinois. Dartmouth defeated the Black Bears on their home court last year by 25 points, but the NIU Huskies played the rude host and defeated the Big Green by a final of 64-57.

Between those two home contests, Cormier will take his squad to UMass Lowell on Dec. 10 before going south to Jacksonville State in Alabama (Dec. 14) and Mercer — which defeated Duke in the NCAA Tournament last year — in Georgia (Dec. 16). The final game before Christmas will take place in State College, Pennsylvania, against the Penn State Nittany Lions of the Big Ten on Dec. 22.

The recent tradition of playing on New Year’s Eve will continue this season when the Big Green trek to Bryant to finish the calendar year.

The first game of 2015 also will be the Ivy League opener as Dartmouth will get tested right away by hosting the two-time defending champion of the Ancient Eight, Harvard, on Jan. 10. The non-conference slate will conclude at Twin State rival Vermont on Jan. 14 before hosting NJIT three days later.

The rest of the games will be against the other Ivy League schools with the Big Green finishing their season series with the Crimson on Jan. 24 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the first of five straight games on the road. Dartmouth will return to Leede Arena for four consecutive contests against Cornell (Feb. 13), Columbia (Feb. 14), followed by the traditional Ivy powers Princeton (Feb. 20) and Penn (Feb. 21).

After traveling to the two Ivies in the state of New York, the Big Green will conclude the season with home games against Brown and Yale the weekend of March 6-7.

Last year, Dartmouth was 12-16 overall — its best record in 15 years — and tied for sixth place in the Ivy League with a 5-9 record as the Green surged for victories in their final three games. Nearly the entire squad returns to push further up the conference standings, including the top four scorers led by co-captains Gabas Maldunas (Sr., C, 11.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg, missed second half of season with an injury) and Alex Mitola (Jr., G, 11.8 ppg, 2.7 apg, 41.8 3FG pct.).